Some of its endings might leave you feeling a little derezzed, but the branching narrative journey you take to get there makes Tron: Identity an experience worth having. Thought provoking writing and incredible music are coupled with an enjoyable card game in a tale that tackles new frontiers in the world of Tron which will be essential for those that ‘fight for the user’.
What is truly surprising about Tron: Identity is that this is the game Tron fans deserve, one that has as much reverence for the source material as the fans do. Disney is a massive corporation known for theme-park entertainment – both in their actual theme parks and in their ethos of making successful properties like the MCU and Star Wars into endless content mills. It could easily have pumped money into making a heartless but generally appealing AAA Tron game where you get to fight hordes of enemies with your Identity Disc and speed around on a light cycle – Assassin’s Creed but with a Tron skin. That would have been a much worse game.
Its focus is rather admirable. There’s no voice acting, the graphics are rather basic, but everything comes together wonderfully to get the job done. Fans of visual novels have been eating great recently, and Tron: Identity is another great morsel to dig your teeth into. Even if it’s not the most transcendental experience, it’s hard not to be charmed by the amount of love that’s been put into it.
Tron: Identity is an entertaining, but short, visual novel mystery. It uses the history and atmosphere of Tron in pleasing ways to create an interactive story that fans will enjoy the first time through. It looks pretty and reads easy, and the only other obvious stumble is with a non-challenging mini-game that players will quickly grow bored with. Despite its confined exploration, fans of the Tron universe that like visual novels will enjoy the decision-making of a story set far away from the usual digital and non-digital protagonists.
Mike Bithell’s writing, as it often is, remains on point as his team establishes new colours within an already riveting sci-fi world, not by replicating what came before—as appropriate as that may have been thematically—but by taking the franchise in a bold direction. It’s a shame this thrilling plot against the archives is derezzed, and perhaps doomed to obsoletion, by a string of confoundingly dull puzzles.
The game doesn’t feel particularly focused on or interested in the mystery at hand so much as in better establishing the world of TRON for a future sequel, which may or may not come to fruition. Identity is beautiful and brilliant in spots, but more times than not, there’s no weight to the derezzing or freeing of the various suspects, no emotional connection between these digital creatures and their world. That and more leaves the game feeling too much like reading a rulebook—and one that stops just short of letting you actually take it for a hell of a ride.
There’s no point to anything in Tron: Identity. It took a magnificent sci-fi world and gave us an hour of closed-off, inconsequential guff to fill the space. Its additions to the Tron mythos are interesting but underused, the characters are flat functions for a deceptively shallow adventure, and you’ll be walking away from the Repository with the vague feeling that you’d just wasted your time.
SummaryIn a new Grid, forgotten by its creator and left alone to evolve without User intervention, an unprecedented crime has been committed. The Repository stands at the center of this society. In the aftermath of a break-in, the future of this Grid hangs in the balance.
TRON: Identity is a visual novel adventure following Query, a detectiv...